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JUNE 7, 2013
Remembering Stuart Walzer (1924 - 2013)
About ten years ago, Stuart Walzer dropped by my office and introduced himself to me.  A retired attorney, who had recently resettled in Carmel, he told me that he had founded the L.A. County Bar Association’s Lawyer’s Literary Society, and he was now interested in volunteering to facilitate a regular group book discussion at the Library.  I was overjoyed, because this was a frequently requested program that I had hoped to put in place in the Library for nearly two decades, but never had quite the right person to help put it all together. 

At the time, I had belonged to a private “living room” book discussion group comprised of girlfriends and like-minded friends of friends for several years, so I knew how these things operated.  But facilitating discussions that are open to the public, where there are likely to be people of various ages and backgrounds, with a diversity of ideas, temperaments, and opinions, there is potential for conversational detours that could become tricky to navigate. But here was Stuart Walzer, not only a brilliant, well-read man, but a specialist in matrimonial law – a highly tolerant, diplomatic person with vast skills in getting conflicting parties to come to terms.   There are a great many things that I do not know, but when a good opportunity knocks, I know enough to open the door. 

For a full decade, Stuart and often his wife Paula, facilitated 172 book discussions at the Library, cultivating a devoted group of readers who enjoyed lively, congenial discussion of mid-to-high level literary fiction, including both contemporary works and classics.  I have participated in many of these sessions and always came away deeply satisfied with the shared experience of discussing literature that I had enjoyed in private.  Wearing my library hat, I always recognized the value of building community around books and reading. 
Stuart passed away at age 88 on May 8.  This kind, wise, deeply intellectual man with his vast range of interests – a Renaissance man really – will be sorely missed by many people.  We at the Library will always be grateful to Stuart for founding the Library’s Literary Circle and for offering this special activity to our community.  We send our heartfelt condolences to Stuart’s family, and will always remember him with fondness and gratitude.   

The Library will honor the tradition of the monthly Literary Circle established by Stuart, with yours truly attempting to fill his  very large shoes by facilitating the discussions. Currently on its usual summer hiatus, the Circle will meet again on Monday, August 26, at 6:30 p.m., in the Library Community Room.  We’ll be discussing Adam Jonson’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Orphan Master’s Son.  I look forward to reacquainting myself with the regular Literary Circle participants and to meeting newcomers, who are always most welcome. 

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming EventsLets Talk Books

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APRIL 13, 2013
National Poetry Month is Here!
April is National Poetry Month and a time to celebrate what Carl Sandburg described as "...the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits."  Whatever your personal take on poetry, please take time this April to enjoy reading your favorite poems.  If you don't have a favorite, ask a librarian to recommend one to you, and savor one of those slim volumes!

If writing poetry is your pleasure, join poet and teacher Patrice Vecchione for a Poetry Writing Workshop on Saturday, April 20, 2 - 3:30 p.m.  Adults and teens age 14-up are welcome.  It's free of charge, thanks to the Friends of the Monterey Public Library and a grant from Poets and Writers, Inc., but reservations are required.  Call 831.646.3949.  Visit www.monterey.org/library for more details.

By the way, Patrice has a brand new book of poetry out, and will be selling and signing copies of it immediately following the workshop!

posted by Jeanne

Categories: Upcoming EventsIn the Know

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FEBRUARY 8, 2013
Chocolate & Wine Magic
Be a part of the magic when the Friends of the Monterey Public Library present their annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting Benefit on Friday, February 15, 7-9 p.m.  Enjoy a dazzling array of chocolate and sample wines ranging from Prosecco to port.  Rounding out the event is a silent auction and live music.  The magic comes in when all the proceeds are transformed into books and other library resources for our community of readers, listeners, viewers, and learners!  Come and be part of the magic!  

posted by Jeanne

Category: Upcoming Events

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JANUARY 23, 2013
Dearest Jane
Join us for a performance of "Dearest Jane" a one-man show written and performed by Howard Burnham on Tuesday, February 5, at 7 p.m.  In the show, we meet the elderly Revenend Henry Austen in 1850, as he recalls his beloved sister, Jane.  Celebrate the bicentennial of the publication of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.  

For ages 16-up.  Admission is free, but reservations are required. 831.646.3949 or email mccombs@monterey.org

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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DECEMBER 4, 2012
Winter 'Round the World

The Monterey Public Library will present Winter 'Round the World; a Multi-Cultural Celebration on Saturday, December 8, 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m., a fun and informative day of music, entertainment, displays, celebrating winter traditions from many cultures.  The event will include exhibits, crafts, story circles, and dance, illuminating aspects of winter holidays. There will Chanukkah songs with Alisa Fineman and Kimball Hurd at 10:30 a.m., Italian and Irish Christmas songs by Marylee Sunseri at 1:30 p.m.  Among the traditions represented will be Russia, Mexico, China, Spain, India, the Middle East.  

Sponsored by the Friends of the Monterey Public Library, Winter 'Round the World is part of "Holiday Monterey", an international celebration of the season for families in downtown Old Monterey .   All ages are welcome and admission to the Library event is free. The Library is located at 625 Pacific Street, Monterey.  For more information call 831.646.3744 or visit our Web site. 

posted by Jeanne

Categories: Upcoming EventsIn the Know

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NOVEMBER 27, 2012
Food for Fines
Bring non-perishable, unopened food items for donation to the Monterey County Food Bank to the Monterey Public Library, Bookmobile or Pacific Grove Public Library between Monday, November 26 and Monday, December 31 and have library overdue fines forgiven.  The Monterey Public Library is located at 625 Pacific Street, Monterey, and the Pacific Grove Library is located at 550 Central Avenue, Pacific Grove.  For more information call 831.646.3747 or 831.648.5760. 

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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NOVEMBER 27, 2012
Chocolate & Wine Tasting Tickets Now On Sale

Tickets are now available for the Friends of the Monterey Public Library's annual Chocolate & Wine Tasting Benefit.  The Friday, February 14, 7 - 9 p.m. event includes a dazzling array of chocolate goodies and wonderful wines to sample, live music, and a silent auction.  All proceeds benefit the Library.  (Ages 21-up only.)  Tickets are $25 in advance at the Help Desk or $30 at the door.  These tickets make GREAT holiday gifts! 

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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NOVEMBER 14, 2012
Friends of the Library Giant Book Sale December 1
Mark your calendar for Saturday, December 1, when the Friends of the Library present their Annual GIANT Used Book Sale in the Library Community Room from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.   Choose from a huge selection of gently used books at bargain prices. This is a great way to find special holiday gift items.  Collectible and "coffee table" books also available in the Solarium and great prices.  There will be a preview sale for Friends of the Monterey Public Library members only on Friday, November 30, 3 - 5 p.m.   Join at the door, if you're not already a member! 

On Saturday, closing hour special from 4 - 5 p.m., invites you to fill up an entire shopping bag for only $5.  (Bring your own bags, please!)  All proceeds go to purchase new library books and other materials.  For information call 831.646.5602.

posted by Jeanne

Category: Upcoming Events

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NOVEMBER 13, 2012
Happy Unbirthday Robert Louis Stevenson
In Samoa, where Robert Louis Stevenson spent his final years, he became acquainted with Miss Annie Ide, the young daughter of Henry Clay Ide, the U.S. Commissioner to Samoa.  Stevenson learned that Annie was unhappy that she never had a proper birthday celebration, having been born on Christmas Day.  Stevenson, declaring that he had no further use for a birthday, decided to give away his own birthday, November 13,  to Miss Ide.  He drew up a “legal” document and delivered it signed and witnessed to Annie’s father, along with the following letter:

19 June 1891
Dear Mr. Ide,

Herewith please find the DOCUMENT which I trust will prove sufficient in law.  It seems to me very attractive in its eclecticism; Scots, English and Roman law phrases are all indifferently introduced and a quotation from the works of Haynes Bayly can hardly fail to attract the indulgence of the Bench. 

Yours very truly,
Robert Louis Stevenson
==========
Join us tonight, Tuesday, November 13, at 7 p.m., at the Library, for a panel discussion of Stevenson, the travel writers, with a panel of RLS aficionados discussing their own travels in the great writer's footsteps, with selected readings.  Admission is free.  Email mccombs@ci.monterey.ca.us for information. 

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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OCTOBER 23, 2012
Dylan Thomas 98th Birthday Celebration
Saturday, October 27, will mark the 98thbirthday of the great lyric poet Dylan Thomas, and the Monterey Peninsula is celebrating with a reading of the great bard’s poems by the Peninsula’s own celebrated poet, reader, and actor Taelen Thomas.  He will will be accompanied by Celtic harper Amy Krupski performing lovely Welsh music. 

Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) had his own Monterey Peninsula connection, having visited Carmel, Carmel Valley, and Big Sur in 1952.  While here, he met Robinson Jeffers, Henry Miller, and other local literary figures. 

Don’t miss this evening of poetry and music, at Carmel’s Indoor Forest Theatre, at the corner of Santa Rita and Mountain View.  Admission is $10.  For more information, email chroberts@hotmail.comor call 831.372.8820.    

(Photo:  Taelen Thomas)

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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OCTOBER 19, 2012
Scary Stories

The Library is putting the "boo" in books on Thursday, October 25, when kids ages 5-up are invited to join us for scary stories at 3:30 p.m.  Then at 4:15 p.m., really, really, REALLY scary stories will be presented for ages 8-up.  (Please note:  age limits enforced.) 

posted by Jeanne

Categories: Storytime KidsUpcoming Events

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OCTOBER 18, 2012
Tales from a Free Range Childhood
Tales from a Free Range Childhood  is a short collection of stories by storyteller Donald Davis recollect his childhood, growing up in the western Appalachian Mountain town of Waynesville, in a community where his family of Scots-Welsh ancestors had lived since the 1780s – before America had a Constitution.  These stories are rich with childhood mischief and the simple joys of growing up a bit away from the pressures and artificiality of the big, modern city.  These stories are all based on real people, real situations, viewed through the eyes of a child.  The stories are at once innocent and wise, and many of them absolutely hilarious. 

Donald Davis isn’t a writer by profession.  He is a storyteller.  And he is marvelous!  He travels over 300 days a year to festivals, colleges, concert halls, and conferences telling stories.  He tells in venues where the audience might be comprised of hundreds of people – maybe even a thousand.   He is among the best and most successful storytellers in America, and here’s the great thing – for twenty five of the twenty six years that the Library has been presenting an adult storytelling series, he has come to Monterey to tell stories in our Library Community Room!   

For a short and sweet read, I recommend Tales from a Free Range Childhood by Donald Davis, but if you want to hear a master storyteller, be sure to come to hear him next time he’s in town.  Mark your calendars:  Tuesday, July 23, 2013.  Tickets are required, so check our Web site in June 2013 for advance for ticket information.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: Staff ReadsLets Talk BooksUpcoming Events

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OCTOBER 10, 2012
History Fest
This weekend, October 13-14 Historic Monterey celebrates History Fest with a full schedulle of tours, tales and treasures.  Visit the Royal Presidio Chapel, Stevenson House, Loser Presidio Historic Park, Colton Hall and the Old Jail, Pacific House, Custom House, and much more.  On Sunday, at 2 p.m. enjoy a re-enactment of California's Constitutional Convention at historic Colton Hall (reservations).  See the full schedule of events, and celebrate Monterey's rich history!  Or visit www.historicmonterey.org

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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JUNE 5, 2012
Dream Big: READ!
This year’s Summer Reading Program gets underway on Saturday, June 9, when there will be a variety of events taking place throughout the Library from 10 a.m. until closing time at 6 p.m. 

Children and Teens may sign up to participate by setting an individual reading goal and receiving a log book to keep track of reading progress.  Each week there will be prizes for accomplishing reading goals, in addition to programs to keep kids engaged and entertained.  This year’s theme “Dream Big: READ” has inspired a range of activities ranging from learning about the night sky, to scary stories around the indoor campfire, to meeting a live bat, a puppet show, and even a sleepover for stuffed animals!  For teens there will be peer-led writing workshops, art projects, and a visit from a professional dream coach who will talk about the meaning of your dreams.  Adults may also participate by writing book reviews and entering prize drawings. 

Read more about all the dreamy activities in store this summer by visiting us at www.monterey.org/library.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: Upcoming EventsLets Talk BooksStorytime Kids

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MAY 17, 2012
"Searching for Democracy WWII and Today" - a Panel Discussion

On Saturday, May 19, at 3 p.m., join us in the Library Community Room for a gathering of readers, scholars, and eye-witnesses for a discussion of the Japanese American experiences during WWII and the questions it raises about democracy in America today.  Admission is free.  This project is co-sponsored by the Monterey Public Library and the Monterey Peninsula Japanese American Citizens League.  California reads programs are made possible with support from Cal Humanities in partnership with California Center for the Book. 

posted by Jeanne

Category: Upcoming Events

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APRIL 10, 2012
National Library Week

April 8 - 14 is National Library Week, a  time to celebrate American libraries.  I hope you'll enjoy reading this eloquent guest commentary in the Monterey County Herald about the Library Mission - a Constantly Evolving Story, written by Kim Bui-Burton, Community Services and Library Director for the City of Monterey.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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APRIL 5, 2012
National Poetry Month
April is National Poetry Month and a time to celebrate what Carl Sandburg described as "...the synthesis of hyacinths and biscuits."  Whatever your take on poetry, please take time this April to enjoy reading your favorite poet.  If you don't  have a favorite poet, ask a librarian to recommend one to you, and savor one of those slim volumes!

If writing poetry is your pleasure, join poet and teacher Patrice Vecchione for a Poetry Writing Workshop on Saturday, April 14, 2 - 3:30 p.m.  Adults and teens age 14-up are welcome.  It's free of charge, thanks to the Friends of the Monterey Public Library and a grant from Poets and Writers, Inc., but reservations are requried.  Call 831.646.3949.  Visit www.monterey.org/library for more details.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowLets Talk BooksUpcoming Events

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MARCH 28, 2012
Closed Friday for Staff Workshop
The Library will be closed on Friday, March 30 for an all day staff workshop.  Once a year, the Library closes and the entire staff gathers to learn new skills and share information that help us better serve you.  We apologize for any inconvenience to you.  We'll reopen at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 31, and look forward to seeing you then.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: Upcoming EventsIn the Know

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MARCH 26, 2012
Farm Day Thursday
On March 29, from 10:30-2:30 there will be a farm petting zoo set up on the patio behind the Library.  There will be toddler storytime at 10:15 and then the children will visit the barnyard at 10:30.  The preschool storytime will begin at 11:00, with the children visiting the barnyard at 11:20. To facilitate this plan, please try to use the front Library door when you come to storytime. 

 During the rest of the day, come any time, to any door, to see the animals, the book display and farm toys.  If you're allergic, sorry.  We look forward to seeing you next week!

posted by Karen

Categories: Storytime KidsUpcoming Events

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MARCH 13, 2012
Stories for Adults

Don't miss Elizabeth Ellis, one of America's top flight storytellers, at the Library on Wednesday, March 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the MPL Community Room, 625 Pacific, Monterey.  She has for us a program called "The Tax Man and Other Monsters", guaranteed to make you laugh!  Ages 16-up only.  Tickets in advance - free with your Library card or $15.  Full details on our Web site.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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FEBRUARY 14, 2012
Raising Fun & Funds at the Chocolate & Wine Tasting Benefit
There are still tickets available for the Friends of the Library’s Chocolate & Wine Tasting benefit coming up this Friday, February 17, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.   Enjoy a dazzling array of chocolate goodies and sample a wide range of wines – most made right here in Monterey County.   The Silent Auction features over 50 sensational items, so bring your checkbook or credit card!  There will also be an opportunity drawing for a one night stay for two Post Ranch Resort, as well as four theme baskets filled with goodies.  Live music and announcement of the Best Chocolate Cookie/Brownie Contest winners will round out the evening.  Come for a fun night out, and help raise money to benefit the Library.  Tickets $25 in advance or $30 at the door.  Must be 21-up to attend.

posted by Jeanne

Categories: In the KnowUpcoming Events

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